Denishia LaVonne Clark

Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership


Outstanding Doctoral Research


Hayward & Oakland, CA

Award Bio

A Bay Area native, originating from Oakland by way of Hayward, Denishia Clark is a public health advocate and higher education professional in career services. She holds a Bachelor of Science from San Diego State University and Master's in Urban Public Health (MPH) from Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. She is graduating with a Doctorate in Educational Leadership (EdD).

My Greatest Supporters

The most incredible support on this journey comes from the prayers and dreams of my ancestors. I feel their strength and spirit every day. My parents Edward Ray and Sharon, and sister Sharonda are the heartbeat of my support system. I am grateful for the Clarks, Smiths, best friends, sorors, Cohort 17, and so many others, too many to name from my beloved tribe.

Favorite Saint Mary's Memory

Every moment shared with C17 makes up my favorite memories. From our first meeting four years ago to the abrupt and virtual shift for our final class last year. I've been blessed to share learning spaces with (and often life support from) Jeannine Manguiat Megia, Marci Van Horn, Susan Lemke, Holly Joshi, Moira Delgado, Kelly Duncan, Christy Glaser, Esther Berndt, and the wise Elizabeth Valadez.

My Next Chapter

I will continue to learn daily, advance professional aspirations in higher education, and explore research opportunities focused on emerging leaders, ethics, and social justice.

Clubs and Activities

P.S. Another favorite SMC memory was that a deer chased Marci and me on campus one time!

P.P.S. I probably have 4+ pages about my supporters and inspiration. So, after it's published, you can read the Acknowledgments section plus a WHOLE lot more in my dissertation.

Favorite Quote

"If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair."
— Shirley Chisholm